McMicken Student Wins Top Presidential Honor

Caroline Hensley, an undergraduate student from Wheaton, Ill., is one of two McMicken students awarded the UC Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence.

Hensley graduated from Wheaton Warrenville South High School in 2012 in the top five percent of her class. She will be graduating from McMicken College of Arts and Sciences this spring with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Biomedical Studies. 

“I've been easily able to pursue two majors with seemingly little in common,” Hensley said. “With these two majors I feel I am continuously challenged to consider the various aspects that compose a person — physical, social, and mental. With that, I have been able to practice creatively and efficiently solving problems and caring for those around me.”

During her time at UC, Hensley has studied abroad a number of times, traveling to Guatemala and Brazil. She is currently finishing a semester in the Dominican Republic, where she has been able to utilize her Spanish-speaking skills and deepen her understanding of social determinants of health. Additionally, Hensley says this study abroad experience has assisted her to learn about race relations. 

“I have enjoyed the emphasis on experiential learning at McMicken,” Hensley said. “There is no way I would have been able to study abroad three different times during my short three years at UC without faculty and staff who recognize the value in experiential learning.” 

Through this experiential learning, Hensley has been able to take Spanish classes in Guatemala while volunteering at a local school, perform research in the Amazon,and spend a semester studying at Pontificia Universidad Catolica - Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic. Hensley believes these experiences have been influential in shaping the direction of her professional and personal goals. 

During her time as a McMicken student, she has participated in a number of extracurricular activities, including the Crossroad Volunteer Internship Program, which has been one of the most significant. This program trains pre-medical students in case management at clinics in underserved communities of Cincinnati. 

Hensley has served as the Volunteer Internship Program Coordinator for Crossroad Health Center in Cincinnati since February 2014, a position that allowed her to recruit, train and manage a team of 45 volunteer interns. She also helped establish a relationship between the program and UC’s College of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Professional Practice and Experiential Learning, University Honors Programs and UC College of Medicine’s Christian Medical Association. Her work with Crossroad Health Center and various other nonprofit groups has developed her passion for caring for underserved populations in a primary care setting. 

“Working at Crossroad Health Center beside other passionate and driven students from across Cincinnati has been the highlight of my time at UC,” Hensley said. “I have developed my skills as a leader, learning how to empower my peers to make sustainable and meaningful change in our community.”

In addition, she has been involved with Cru Campus Ministry, Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Society, University Honors Program Ambassadors & Welcome Retreat Team, Phi Beta Kappa, and various other service groups. Hensley is also part of Cincinnati Women in Excellence and Spirit Together Honorary. 

Hensley has also worked as an undergraduate researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center since February 2013, where she has investigated heart valve development of zebra fish embryos in the Developmental Biology Department under direction of Saulius Sumanas and Jennifer Schumacher. Hensley presented this research at the University of Cincinnati Undergraduate Research Conference in April 2014. 

Throughout her academic career Hensley has also received a variety of awards including the Truman Scholarship Endorsed Candidate (2014), the Edward Coughlin Scholarship and two Pat O’Connor Grants for International Study from UC’s Romance Languages and Literatures Department (2013, 2014, 2015), plus, the Medical Staff Scholarship from Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Ill. (2013 to present) and the Cincinnatus Presidential Scholarship (2012 to present). 

Hensley began coursework for a Masters of Public Health, Health Services Management, in fall 2014 and plans to complete the program by May 2016. She intends to continue on to UC’s College of Medicine as part of the Connections Dual Admissions BS/MD Program in fall 2016. 

“I hope to bridge the gap between scientific findings and public knowledge/practices in my future as a physician with a background in public health,” Hensley said. “As a result of my experience at McMicken, I feel I have been well trained in learning, working and communicating with individuals of various backgrounds and disciplines.”

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